Wes Hoolahan – is he the new Darren Huckerby?

After what has been one of the longest transfer sagas of the summer as far as the Championship is concerned, Blackpool winger Wes Hoolahan has finally signed for Glenn Roeder’s Norwich City. The deal is worth £250,000 with Norwich City keeper Matthew Gilks moving in the opposite direction.

Glenn Roeder has been actively seeking a left winger since he decided not to renew Darren Huckerby’s contract at the end of last season and now it appears that he has got his man. Considering that Wes Hoolahan was one of Blackpool’s best players last season, it seems he has got his man at a very reasonable price as well.

So, what type of player are Norwich getting? Can he fill the shoes of the departing Darren Huckerby? Well, I think they are different types of players. Darren Huckerby relied more on bursts of pace and a direct approach to taking on defenders, whereas Wes Hoolahan is more of a skilful player who can ‘thread the ball through the eye of a needle’ according to his new manager.

One thing is for sure – if Wes Hoolahan can win over the Carrow Road faithful in the same way that Darren Huckerby did during his time at Norwich, he won’t go far wrong. The former Manchester City winger was a huge player for Norwich and it will be interesting to see how Wes Hoolahan adapts to his new club.

This is Glenn Roeder’s second signing of the summer after he secured the signature of Sammy Clingan from Nottingham Forest earlier this month. However, it is a list the one time Newcastle United manager must continue to add to as Norwich’s squad is rather depleted following a summer clear-out.

A look at Championship football odds will tell you that Norwich are one of the favourites to be relegated to League One. However, if Glenn Roeder can secure more players in the Wes Hoolahan bracket of quality, he will be hoping that this is far from the case.

Aaron Ramsey Snubs Man Utd for Arsenal

Cardiff City midfielder Aaron Ramsey is set to join Premier League side Arsenal after Arsene Wenger’s men offered the ‘highest cash deal’ for the highly rated 17-year-old. The deal is worth £5m and the Welshman has signed a three-year-deal at the Emirates.

This boy must be good. I haven’t seen much of him other than during Cardiff’s FA Cup run, but he showed some remarkable abilities for such a young man. He has only played 22 times for the Championship side, which seems to be enough for Wenger. The Arsenal boss has a good eye for young talent and to be rated by the Frenchman seemingly proves that much is expected of Ramsay.

The deal suits Cardiff as well, it is a lot of money for someone who has played so little for the club and can be used to help the Bluebirds make a promotion push next season.

Ramsey, who was recently called up to the full Wales squad, has been the most in demand player outside the top flight so far this summer. Alex Ferguson believed he had signed the player in a deal which included a loan-back option for Cardiff. Ramsey has also held talks with Everton boss David Moyes, before having a seemingly deal-breaking meeting with Arsene Wenger.

So what type of player are Arsenal fans going to be watching? Well, he is the youngest ever player to play for Cardiff City and prefers to operate in a central midfield role. However, he can also operate at full back, on either wing or ‘in the hole’ behind the two strikers. He’s a versatile player and will be hoping to make an impact on his new boss during pre-season.

It will be interesting to see whether he will figure for Arsenal next season. If he does, I plead to Wenger to play him in his favoured position. Something he hasn’t really done with Theo Walcott. If Ramsey operates best in central midfield – play him there!

There is no doubt that with reference to football betting, Cardiff’s chances of success next season will be boosted by this addition to their transfer kitty. They are losing a fantastic talent but can buy four or five quality players that can improve their squad. Dave Jones is a good manager and I expect him to make the most out of the money that is made available to him.

Man Utd sign Aaron Ramsey from Cardiff

Manchester United sign Aaron Ramsey from Cardiff CityManchester United and Cardiff City have agreed a fee for Cardiff City’s Under-21 Welsh international, Aaron Ramsey.

The fee for the talented midfielder is believed to be between £5 – £6 million.

17-year-old Aaron Ramsey, has played just 22 games, scoring 2 goals for Cardiff.

A statement on United’s official website states:

“Manchester United is delighted to announce it has agreed terms with Cardiff City for the transfer of Aaron Ramsey subject to terms being agreed and the player passing a medical.”

Cardiff also received interest for Aaron Ramsey from Liverpool and Arsenal. But don’t expect to see Ramsey playing in red next season.

It’s thought that Man Utd will loan Ramsey back to Cardiff next season to gain more first-team experience.

The idea of buying a player and then loaning him back to the same club seems almost ludicrous.

Part of me realises this is a way of purchasing a player before another club does.  But it must deflate a young talented player like Aaron Ramsey to know Man Utd have bought him, only to return him on loan to the club that he was already playing for.

Ipswich to sign Emile Mpenza

Sven Goran Eriksson is not the only one who is on his way out of Manchester!Emile Mpenza, Manchester City’s unsettled 29-year-old Belgium international striker appears to be on his way to Ipswich Town.

Mpenza has also been linked with moves to Bolton, Reading and Leicester this summer.

Though according to his agent Rachid Tajhout, Mpenza has already met with the Tractor Boys and he told BBC Radio Suffolk they were hoping to receive an offer from Ipswich Town in the next week or so.

Emile Mpenza has made 30 appearances for Manchester City, scoring only six goals, following his move from Qatar in February 2007.

Hasslebaink & Fowler – Pay As You Play deals

Cardiff City have released a statement confirming they are currently negotiating new contracts with Robbie Fowler & Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

It is thought that Cardiff City are offering Fowler & Hasselbaink Pay As You Play contracts on reduced terms.

Both Hasselbaink & Fowler signed one year contracts with Cardiff last August but both have been plagued with injuries and therefore Cardiff appear concerned they are not getting their money’s worth.

Another high profile player, Trevor Sinclair has already been released by Cardiff this month.  Sinclair, 35, who came on as a substitute in the FA Cup final, has also suffered with injuries and has only made 16 starts for Cardiff.

If Cardiff are to use the FA Cup final as a springboard they will need to consider nurturing youunger players like teenage striker Jon Brown who has been offered his first professional contract; and buying players that have more to offer than mid-thirties has-beens.

David Jones has also released goalkeepers Michael Oakes and David Forde. But midfielder Riccardo Scimeca has been offered a one year contract.